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#329899 - 14th Jun 2009 8:03pm Consumer Law - a brief guide.
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
OK, this is the first in a set of brief guides to parts of law that affect us all. The first request was about 'consumer' law. I'll try and make it as easy to understand as I can.

Contract Law

Every single day, each and every one of us enters into a contract of some form. When we buy goods or pay for a service (such as having a new kitchen fitted for example) we have certain rights and the seller/provider has certain obligations that they must adhere to. These rights and obligations are governed by statues, or laws. They are:

Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SGA 1979) (as amended by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 (SSGA 1994) and Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002), which implies terms into Sale of goods contracts; e.g. the Sale of a kettle.

Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (SGSA 1982), which implies terms into a contract for goods and services; e.g. having a new kitchen fitted (I'll cover that in a separate post);

Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA 1974), which regulates credit agreements (I'll cover these in a separate post too).

The main piece of legislation in this area is SGA 1979, which applies only to contracts for the Sale of goods. s2(1) provides that a contract for the Sale of goods requires:
  • a Sale or agreement to sell;
  • property in tangible, movable goods (basically anything that can be touched and taken away);
  • "consideration" at least partly in the form of money (i.e. you pay for the goods).

There are certain terms that are implied into every contract for the Sale of goods. These are:
  • that the seller owns the goods and has a right to sell them (this term can NEVER be excluded);
  • in sales by description, goods must correspond with their description;
  • the goods must be of satisfactory quality and must be fit for the purpose for which they are commonly sold OR a particular purpose that the buyer has made known to the seller e.g. hi-fi speakers should allow you to listen to music played via a stereo system, but if you've asked "will they work with my Kenwood stereo system?', and been told yes, but when you get them home they don't, then they were not fit for the purpose specified.


So, what should you do when you buy something?

When you get home, check that the item works as soon as possible. This should ideally be done within 7 days in case you have a complaint about the goods you have bought, leave it longer and providing the goods were faulty when you bought them your right to a full refund may be lost. However you're still entitled to a replacement, a reduction, or a credit note.

If the goods are faulty, take them back within 6 months and the shop has to prove they WERE NOT faulty when you bought them. After 6 months YOU must prove they were faulty when you bought them.

By law you have up to six years to make a complaint. This doesn't mean that goods must last six years, it simply means that they must last what most people would consider to be a Ďreasonable' length of time. Normal day to day wear and tear will generally mean that you won't be able to complain. However, if there was a fault on the item, you will be able to. If there is an argument over whether the goods are faulty or not Ė the burden of proof is on YOU to prove that they were.

As was mentioned in the request for this particular area of law, what if you take the item back to the shop and they tell you that it's nothing to do with them, go to the manufacturer?

If the item was faulty when you bought it, then the retailer MUST sort it out for you. Your "contract" was with them, not the manufacturer. They are aware of this, but if they continue to try to fob you off, stand your ground and ask to speak with the manager! If you still get no joy - go above their heads! Get the address of Head Office and go direct!!

If you get to this stage, remember to take copies of any communication and where possible, send it registered post so that they cannot deny getting your complaint wink

N.B. If buying goods from firms based abroad, beware, UK laws WILL NOT cover you.

Second hand goods and goods bought from shops in the sales.

Second hand goods and goods bought from shops in the sales still follow the same rules: if they're faulty then you can still return them. Just because you've bought Sale or second hand goods doesn't mean you can't return them. They still must be of satisfactory quality, but the price must be taken into account. If, however, you are made aware of any faults when you buy the goods, you can't return them later because of that fault.

One common misconception applies to second hand cars - "sold as seen". no If buying from a trader, your rights are the same as always. However, certain factors must be taken into account.

A car should be fit to use on the road, be in a condition that reflects its age and price and be reasonably reliable. "Sold as seen" has no basis in law: your Sale of Goods Act rights still apply.

The only difference comes with private sales. You only have a right that the product is correctly described and the owner has the right to sell it. Here it's "caveat emptor" or let the buyer beware. If the seller says nothing and no description is given of any problem and you buy it, then that's it Ė even if it doesn't do what you thought it would. However, unless stated, you have a right to expect that the car will pass an MOT.
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#329925 - 14th Jun 2009 11:11pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Wench]
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21027
Loc: Wirral
Good Stuff Wench

I use this all the time.

I got a video repaired 13 months after purchase and turning down there extended warranty. Even when the supervisor in Curry said i wasn't entitled under the consumer act.

Yes i had to take it to an engineer to be fixed and it was a fault with the unit and not ware and tear.
Thats the bit i got wrong at the time, i had to prove it was faulty before they could refund me the £70 lol

-----------
I also used the same process on a friends DVD Player that had died after 18 months. They wanted £400 for the repair until i dived in with the consumer act and he only paid for the postage after that.

So it does work even if they say your not entitled.

Great to see it nice and clear like that wench wink
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#329931 - 14th Jun 2009 11:17pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Mark]
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
If it can save just one member being ripped off then I'm happy laugh
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Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#336055 - 16th Jul 2009 1:42pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Wench]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Hi, what's the situation if the goods were not faulty when bought but failed 2 months later?
I bought a monitor from Comet in April & it worked fine, until today, when it failed. I took it back with the receipt but they said I had to deal with the manufacturer. It has a 12 month warranty. I think my contract is with Comet & they should either refund, repair or replace the item.
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#336068 - 16th Jul 2009 2:31pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: chriskay]
Wench Offline

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Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
Who is your warranty with and what does it say on it?
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Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#336069 - 16th Jul 2009 2:36pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Wench]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Oh no. Do you want your "old" monitor back again ?????

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#336071 - 16th Jul 2009 2:52pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Wench]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: Wench
Who is your warranty with and what does it say on it?

All I have is the original folder from Comet, with my receipt attached. In the folder,it says
"All our electrical products carry a minimum 12 months manufacturer's guarantee. During this period we'll either repair it for free, exchange it or give you a full refund, dependent on the product and your rights. Proof of purchase is required and manufacturer's conditions may apply."
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Carpe diem.

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#336080 - 16th Jul 2009 5:50pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: chriskay]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
In that case, if that is verbatim, I believe it IS up to them to either arrange for repair or replace the item.

Don't be fobbed off Chris snob
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Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#336087 - 16th Jul 2009 6:50pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Wench]
Snodvan Offline

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Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Chris

My understanding is that since it is less than 6 months old any fault is presumed to be inherent UNLESS Comet wish to prove otherwise ie they would have to PROVE you had subjected the item to unfair wear & tear. That is technically impossible to prove I would think unless the unit is showing very obvious scratches/ scrapes/ dints etc - and that will not be so.

Comet should be made aware of the issues and that THEY are responsible.

Snod
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#336093 - 16th Jul 2009 7:37pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Snodvan]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
Hi. Can see you busy wiv snod v comet but when you get a mo-
Whats the law re security guards barring people from stores with no evidence of thieving?
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#336100 - 16th Jul 2009 8:19pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: RUDEBOX]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
A shop is private property. There is an implied invitation for customers to come in and shop, but they are fully entitled to ban someone from entering the premises. There does not have to be a reason, but customers are usually banned because of theft, intimidation, disruption, drunkenness or drugs.

A member of staff (preferably a manager) can tell them that they would rather you did not come into their store any more and that if you return in the future they will be trespassing - they can then order you to leave.

Is that any help?
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#336102 - 16th Jul 2009 8:40pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Wench]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
Thanks hun. My daughter + her mate got barred from primark for 2 years- staff suspectf the mate had put something in her bag and gave her the option to leave item in changing room-dont know if she had-daughter says no!! Both girls escorted off the premises, my girl was mortified! I wondered whether it would be worth going over there and talking to the s.guard. Dousent seem fair IF my girl is innocent. Also, would she be barred from all stores?
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Mia Mabel


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#336104 - 16th Jul 2009 8:45pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: RUDEBOX]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
Also, i get the impression that the security guard does not work exclusivly for primark-but the pyramids/ shopping centre.
(I'll kill her if she was 'on the rob' and theres me trying to help her out. Lol)
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#336110 - 16th Jul 2009 9:10pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: RUDEBOX]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
See PM chicken wink
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#336112 - 16th Jul 2009 9:39pm Re: Consumer Law - a brief guide. [Re: Wench]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
Thankoo x
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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